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How to Find Back Issues of Magazines

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Maybe you long to flip through the pages of the fashion magazine you loved as a teen, or maybe a sports magazine from 1997 has one of the best football players of all time on the cover and you want to add it to your collection. There are many reasons you might want to get your hands on old magazines. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some helpful tips for finding back issues of your favorite magazines.

Magazine Publishers

If you’re willing to pay for the magazine and shipping, the magazine’s publisher may still have back issues on hand, but there’s usually a limit to how far back the issues go. If you have a current issue, information for ordering back issues may be listed in the front or back along with other editorial and corporate information. If not, visit the website for the magazine or its publisher. An internet submission form with email address or phone number is usually available for inquiries. If the website doesn’t mention back issues, contact customer service by phone or email. If you’re merely looking for an article in an issue that isn’t too old, the article may still be available on the magazine’s website.

Local Library

If you just want to read or look at a back issue and not collect it, make a trip to your local community library. Libraries at local high schools, colleges or universities may also be options if they allow non-students to browse their materials. Libraries often have physical copies of magazine back issues on hand for a certain period of time, and microfilm copies may be available for older copies. If the library you choose subscribes to services like LexisNexis or EBSCO, it may also provide access to certain magazines and academic journals through these systems.

eBay, Etsy, Amazon and AbeBooks

If you want to own the magazine in question, viewing it a library isn’t the answer. Many third-party sellers list back issues of magazines for sale online. The auction site eBay has an entire category dedicated to the sale of old magazines, and you can sort them by price, year, subject, language, magazine name and more. For older magazines, try Etsy, which is a common source of vintage items. Amazon and are also excellent sources for finding back issues of magazines, but it’s important to remember that prices can range from very cheap to very expensive if the magazine is viewed as a desirable collectible.

Google Books

Despite the name, Google Books doesn’t just give you access to the books it has in its database. You can also find hundreds of magazines listed here. Simply visit and check out the magazine section. The results are listed in alphabetical order along with the date(s) available. Keep in mind that it’s a random selection of magazines, so you never know what you might find. Click on titles that interest you to read through all or most of the issue. You can also save it to your own Google library. Unfortunately, this doesn’t put a physical copy of the magazine in your hands, but you can access these back issues for reading any time.

Garage Sales, Estate Sales and Antique Shops

Last but not least, if you can’t find magazine back issues through any of the above mentioned methods, you may have to get out and pound the pavement in your community. Start with stores where you can buy vintage or second-hand items and look for old magazines. Stop at local garage sales and estate sales, and check out your local antique shops, thrift stores and consignment shops. One of the most exciting things about looking for back issues this way is you can stumble across a lot of other unexpected treasures while you’re looking. Old magazines are also typically cheaper in these types of venues.


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The saying goes that “everyone has a novel in them” and it’s the mission of Writing Magazine to help you get yours out! Brought to you by real experts who know what it takes to get published, this monthly magazine is a must-have for all writers.

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Find details about every creative writing competition—including poetry contests, short story competitions, essay contests, awards for novels, grants for translators, and more—that we’ve published in the Grants & Awards section of Poets & Writers Magazine during the past year. We carefully review the practices and policies of each contest before including it in the Writing Contests database, the most trusted resource for legitimate writing contests available anywhere.

Find a home for your poems, stories, essays, and reviews by researching the publications vetted by our editorial staff. In the Literary Magazines database you’ll find editorial policies, submission guidelines, contact information—everything you need to know before submitting your work to the publications that share your vision for your work.

Whether you’re pursuing the publication of your first book or your fifth, use the Small Presses database to research potential publishers, including submission guidelines, tips from the editors, contact information, and more.

Research more than one hundred agents who represent poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers, plus details about the kinds of books they’re interested in representing, their clients, and the best way to contact them.

Trying to get your work published can feel like wandering in a maze. If you are running into one dead end after another, not sure which way to turn, Poets & Writers can demystify the process and help you reach your destination—publication.

Every week a new publishing professional shares advice, anecdotes, insights, and new ways of thinking about writing and the business of books.

Stay informed with reports from the world of writing contests, including news of extended deadlines, recent winners of notable awards, new contest announcements, interviews with winners, and more.

Since our founding in 1970, Poets & Writers has served as an information clearinghouse of all matters related to writing. While the range of inquiries has been broad, common themes have emerged over time. Our Top Topics for Writers addresses the most popular and pressing issues, including literary agents, copyright, MFA programs, and self-publishing.

Our series of subject-based handbooks (PDF format; $4.99 each) provide information and advice from authors, literary agents, editors, and publishers. Now available: The Poets & Writers Guide to Publicity and Promotion, The Poets & Writers Guide to the Book Deal, The Poets & Writers Guide to Literary Agents, The Poets & Writers Guide to MFA Programs, and The Poets & Writers Guide to Writing Contests.

Find a home for your work by consulting our searchable databases of writing contests, literary magazines, small presses, literary agents, and more.

Subscribe to Poets & Writers Magazine for as little as $1.67 per issue

Poets & Writers lists readings, workshops, and other literary events held in cities across the country. Whether you are an author on book tour or the curator of a reading series, the Literary Events Calendar can help you find your audience.

Get the Word Out is a new publicity incubator for debut fiction writers and poets.

Find information about venues that host readings and author events, including bookstores, bars, cafes, libraries, literary arts centers, and more. The Reading Venues database includes details about how to schedule your own reading, admission fees, audience size, parking and transit information, and more.

Research newspapers, magazines, websites, and other publications that consistently publish book reviews using the Review Outlets database, which includes information about publishing schedules, submission guidelines, fees, and more.

Well over ten thousand poets and writers maintain listings in this essential resource for writers interested in connecting with their peers, as well as editors, agents, and reading series coordinators looking for authors. Apply today to join the growing community of writers who stay in touch and informed using the Poets & Writers Directory.

Download our free app to find readings and author events near you; explore indie bookstores, libraries, and other places of interest to writers; and connect with the literary community in your city or town.

Let the world know about your work by posting your events on our literary events calendar, apply to be included in our directory of writers, and more.

Find a writers group to join or create your own with Poets & Writers Groups. Everything you need to connect, communicate, and collaborate with other poets and writers—all in one place.

Find information about more than two hundred full- and low-residency programs in creative writing in our MFA Programs database, which includes details about deadlines, funding, class size, core faculty, and more. Also included is information about more than fifty MA and PhD programs.

Whether you are looking to meet up with fellow writers, agents, and editors, or trying to find the perfect environment to fuel your writing practice, the Conferences & Residencies is the essential resource for information about well over three hundred writing conferences, writers residencies, and literary festivals around the world.

Discover historical sites, independent bookstores, literary archives, writing centers, and writers spaces in cities across the country using the Literary Places database—the best starting point for any literary journey, whether it’s for research or inspiration.

Search for jobs in education, publishing, the arts, and more within our free, frequently updated job listings for writers and poets.

Poets & Writers Live is an initiative developed in response to interviews and discussions with writers from all over the country. When we asked what Poets & Writers could do to support their writing practice, time and again writers expressed a desire for a more tangible connection to other writers. So, we came up with a living, breathing version of what Poets & Writers already offers: Poets & Writers Live.

Establish new connections and enjoy the company of your peers using our searchable databases of MFA programs and writers retreats, apply to be included in our directory of writers, and more.

Bring the literary world to your door—at half the newsstand price. Available in print and digital editions, Poets & Writers Magazine is a must-have for writers who are serious about their craft.

View the contents and read select essays, articles, interviews, and profiles from the current issue of the award-winning Poets & Writers Magazine .

Read three decades of essays, articles, interviews, profiles, and other select content from Poets & Writers Magazine .

View the covers and contents of every issue of Poets & Writers Magazine , from the current edition all the way back to the first black-and-white issue in 1987.

In our weekly series of craft essays, some of the best and brightest minds in contemporary literature explore their craft in compact form, articulating their thoughts about creative obsessions and curiosities in a working notebook of lessons about the art of writing.

The Time Is Now offers weekly writing prompts in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction to help you stay committed to your writing practice throughout the year. Sign up to get The Time Is Now, as well as a weekly book recommendation for guidance and inspiration, delivered to your inbox.

Every week a new author shares books, art, music, writing prompts, films—anything and everything—that has inspired and shaped the creative process.

Watch videos, listen to audio clips, and view slideshows related to articles and features published in Poets & Writers Magazine .

Ads in Poets & Writers Magazine and on are the best ways to reach a readership of serious poets and literary prose writers. Our audience trusts our editorial content and looks to it, and to relevant advertising, for information and guidance.

Start, renew, or give a subscription to Poets & Writers Magazine ; change your address; check your account; pay your bill; report a missed issue; contact us.

Peruse paid listings of writing contests, conferences, workshops, editing services, calls for submissions, and more.

Read select articles from the award-winning magazine and consult the most comprehensive listing of literary grants and awards, deadlines, and prizewinners available in print.

Each year the Readings & Workshops program provides support to hundreds of writers participating in literary readings and conducting writing workshops. Learn more about this program, our special events, projects, and supporters, and how to contact us.

Find information about how Poets & Writers provides support to hundreds of writers participating in literary readings and conducting writing workshops.

Poets & Writers Magazine Archive: 2023

Our archive includes the full text of select articles published in Poets & Writers Magazine, as well as abstracts for all other pieces. We will continue to add more articles in the future.

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